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Old 8th November 2009, 12:17 PM   #2
Matchlock
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
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Hi Alexander,

For photos of tiller/stick guns of the mid to the 2nd half of the 15th century, please go to

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=8461.

The barrel of the first gun in my thread, ca. 1450, is of wrought iron, the one of the second (ca. 1500) of copper alloy (brass or bronze). The socket of the first retains remains of the original tiller stock while this is preserved completely on the second gun.
I will post the measurements and data soon.

The watercolors nos. 1-4 in your thread are taken from a codex of ca. 1480 preserved in the collections of the Princes of Waldburg-Wolfegg, and illuminated by an anonymous artist known as Meister des Hausbuchs (Master of the housebook).

Your photo no. 5 shows some of a large number of haquebuts with wrought iron barrels, ca. 1460-1500, mostly of Nuremberg and Bohemian make, all preserved at the Západoceské Muzeum Pilsen, Czechia. Some of their stocks are original while others seem to be later reconstructions. Unfortunately this is hard to determine nowadays because, after left in virtually untouched and perfectly patinated condition for hundreds of years, all of the Pilsen guns were exposed to heavy 'restoration' measures in the 1980's, often with extremely sad results for the pieces, especially the stocks. E.g., large pieces of felt were nailed to the rear flat ends of the buttstocks, a rather 'ingenious' method indeed of preventing them from 'damage'. All the wooden surfaces were crudely smoothened and varnished thickly. As I said, the outcome is very sad and - what is even worse - irreversible and it is really hard to tell what is old and what is new, and it is absolutely impossible to tell what they looked like orginally.
Just for the sake of completeness let me add that the iron parts had been acid cleaned.

I went here with so much enthusiasm to see one of the oldest preserved collections in the world, and then my eyes almost filled up with tears.

As to the question of painting of late 15th century stocks, this cannot be answered by just yes or no. From my experience I should say that most stocks were just left untreated while others were varnished and some even painted polychromatic including decorative symbols such as floral patterns and even coats-of-arms. The wood used for the stocks of heavy pieces was mostly oak, sometimes ash, but I have also seen fir and beech now and then.

I tried to give a few highly unusual examples of painted Gothic stocks in former threads.

Best,
Michael
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